John Mayer Tests Positive to COVID-19

John Mayer has tested positive to the novel coronavirus, forcing him to miss his planned appearance with Dead & Company at Playing in the Sand festival.

Mayer returned a positive test just prior to leaving for Mexico, where the event is due to take place this weekend and next.

The show will go on. “We came down here to have fun. Unfortunately some of our brothers cannot make it but fun is what we’re going to have,” comments Dead & Company’s Bobby Weir in a statement.

In these “unprecedented times fans should expect many rare and different tunes,” the message continues.

Dead & Company, a spin-off of The Grateful Dead, is the headline act at Playing in the Sand, set to take place in Riviera Cancun over the weekends of Jan. 7-10 and Jan. 13-16.

He’s the second Dead & Company bandmate to fall ill in recent days. Earlier, drummer Bill Kreutztmann pulled out of the Mexico dates, noting his doctor ordered him to “sit this one out” due to ongoing health complications.

Mayer last year dropped with his eighth solo studio album Sob Rock, which led Billboard’s Top Album Sales Chart and peaked at No. 2 on the all-genres Billboard 200. With Dead & Company, Mayer plays lead guitar along with lead and backing vocal duties.

2022 RodeoHouston Sets Performer Lineup

This year’s Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo’s 2022 entertainer lineup is star-packed, with performers from a range of genres, including country, Contemporary Christian, EDM, R&B, pop and more. The multi-week event runs from Feb. 28-March 20 at NRG Stadium.

Dierks Bentley, Kane Brown, Luke Bryan, for King & Country, Sam Hunt, Cody Johnson, Journey, Khalid, Marshmello, Tim McGraw, Maren Morris, Brad Paisley, Chris Stapleton, Gwen Stefani, George Strait, Keith Urban and more are among those announced as performers for this year’s RodeoHouston.

Strait, who will conclude this years RodeoHouston with a show on March 20, will welcome Ashley McBryde as a special guest.

The weekday rodeos will begin at 6:45 p.m. CT, with the entertainer performing at around 8:45 p.m. The NRG Stadium gates open at 6 p.m. Weekend rodeo shows begin at 3:45 p.m. CT, with the entertainer taking the stage at NRG Stadium 5:45 p.m. CT. The NRG Stadium gates open at 3 p.m. On March 20, the George Strait concert will begin at 7 p.m. with a performance from McBryde, while Strait is slated to take the stage at 8 p.m. for a full-length concert.

Strait is among a select few artists honored as part of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo’s Star Trail of Fame, alongside Gene Autry, Brooks & Dunn, Alan Jackson, Elvis Presley, Charley Pride, Reba, Roy Rogers and Selena. Strait was inducted in 1996 and rededicated in 2013. Strait has previously performed at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo from 1983-1997, from 2002-2004, 2006-2007, 2013 and 2019.

See the daily performance schedule below:

    • Feb. 28: Cody Johnson
    • March 1: Keith Urban
    • March 2: Tim McGraw
    • March 3: for King and Country
    • March 4: Ricky Martin
    • March 5: Jon Pardi
    • March 6: Los Tucanes de Tijuana
    • March 7: Luke Bryan
    • March 8: Maren Morris
    • March 9: Kane Brown
    • March 10: Journey
    • March 11: Bun B’s H-Town takeover
    • March 12: Parker McCollum
    • March 13: Dierks Bentley
    • March 14: Sam Hunt
    • March 15: Gwen Stefani
    • March 16: Khalid
    • March 17: Chris Stapleton
    • March 18: Marshmello
    • March 19: Brad Paisley
    • March 20: George Strait with special guest Ashley McBryde

For ticket information, visit rodeohouston.com.

Joyce Ostin, Daughter-in-Law of Music Exec Mo Ostin, Dies at 64

Joyce Ostin, a photographer and daughter-in-law of legendary music executive Mo Ostin, died Dec. 29 at her Pacific Palisades home after a battle with cancer, her family announced. She was 64.

Ostin spent her first years raising her three daughters while battling breast cancer, and in 2001, she published Hollywood Moms, a best-selling coffee-table book with a foreword by Carrie Fisher that featured photographs of Goldie Hawn and daughter Kate Hudson; Dyan Cannon and daughter Jennifer Grant; Jennifer Lopez and her mom, Guadalupe; and Rosie O’Donnell and her daughter, Chelsea.

In 2007 came Hollywood Dads, with an introduction by Paul Reiser and photos of Robin Williams, Michael J. Fox, Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, Bruce Willis and other fathers with their kids.

Born Joyce Adrienne Fell in Miami on May 24, 1957, she moved to Los Angeles and married Michael Ostin, who followed in his father’s footsteps to become a top executive at Warner Bros. Records and DreamWorks Records.

In addition to her father-in-law and husband, survivors include her daughters Anika (and her husband, Max), Leyla and Annabelle (and her husband, Dylan) and her granddaughter, Phoebe.

Said her family in a statement: “Those that knew her will remember her warmth and unwavering kindness, her fierceness and strength of character and the deep loyalty that underscored every interaction she had. She had unparalleled style, a sharp sense of humor and a joie de vivre that inspired everyone around her. To be in Joyce’s orbit was to have the time of your life and to feel incredibly loved.”

A celebration of life will be planned at a later date.

Donations in her memory may be made to advance Dr. Zev Wainberg’s research at the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. They may be made here or directed to the UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation, Attn: Melissa Brody; 8-950 Factor Building, Box 951780, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1780.

Please note that gifts are in memory of Joyce Ostin.

Kanye West to Headline Coachella 2022, Considering Sunday Service

Kanye West — who now goes by Ye — has been tapped to headline Sunday night at this year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and might also stage a second Sunday Service performance a source tells Billboard. Billie Eilish is also in talks to headline the event — likely Friday — sources confirms.

The headliner news comes after a chaotic 48 hours for festival organizer Goldenvoice as it moves artists in and out of the event’s three headliner slots, originally set for the 2020 iteration that was postponed several times during the pandemic. Billboard has confirmed that previous headliners Travis Scott and Rage Against the Machine will no longer headline the 2022 edition of the festival after originally being tapped for the 2020 show. Scott was effectively dropped from the lineup following the tragic death of 10 attendees at his Astroworld festival in Houston on Nov. 5.

Goldenvoice is also considering moving Swedish House Mafia out of the headliner slot, Billboard has learned, as organizers evaluate all of their options for the two weekend festival, April 15-17 and April 22-24 at the Empire Polo Grounds in Indio, Calif.

Both Ye and Eilish’s agreements still have to be finalized, and while a Sunday Service-style performance is still being considered, a return of the church-like event after it first debuted at the festival in 2019 has generated significant buzz.

Ye previously headlined the 2011 edition of Coachella, while Eilish performed at the festival in 2019 — the last year the festival was held. Swedish House Mafia performed in 2012.

TMZ and Variety first reported the news of Billie and Ye’s bookings, respectively.

The 2020 edition – which Rage Against the Machine, Scott and Frank Ocean were slated to headline – was moved to October 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic before being scrapped altogether; the 2021 festival was also canceled. In August, it was revealed that Ocean would instead headline the festival in 2023, leaving the third headliner slot open.

While Ye and Eilish are certainly big gets for the festival, some observers are now questioning the viability of Coachella’s April dates — which were set last June — amid skyrocketing coronavirus infections due to the highly-contagious omicron variant. Earlier Wednesday (Jan. 5), the Recording Academy postponed its 2022 Grammys ceremony, which had been slated for Jan. 31. Sources tell Billboard it may now be held sometime in the spring.

 

Fat Joe & Remy Ma Beat Copyright Lawsuit Over ‘All the Way Up’

Fat Joe and Remy Ma won a federal court ruling Wednesday (Jan. 5) that cleared them of wrongdoing in a copyright lawsuit over their 2016 hit “All the Way Up,” with a judge ruling that they had already paid their accuser years earlier for his alleged contributions to the song.

The case was filed in 2019 by an artist named Eric Elliott, who claimed he had co-authored the song but had been cheated out of proper compensation and ownership rights. Fighting back, Fat Joe argued that he had paid Elliott a lump sum of $5,000 for his contributions shortly after the song was released.

On Wednesday, a federal judge sided with Fat Joe, ruling that Elliott had signed away his rights to “All the Way Up” and could not sue – even if he had later become unhappy with the sum he received.

“Elliott’s retrospective frustration at the amount of money notwithstanding, there is no dispute that Elliott signed the contract, assigning his rights to the song, while simultaneously receiving the $5,000 check from Fat Joe in exchange,” wrote U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald.

Released on March 2, 2016, by Fat Joe and Remy Ma featuring French Montana and Infared, “All the Way Up” was a top 10 hit on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and peaked at No. 27 on the Billboard Hot 100.

In his lawsuit, Elliott – who uses the stage name Fly Havana – claimed he had co-created the song in late 2015 during a studio session with Infared, who then took the unfinished track and added contributions by Fat Joe, Remy Ma and French Montana.

When he later demanded credit, Elliott said he was told to meet Fat Joe at a Miami IHOP, where he was offered $5,000 and pressured to sign a document. He said he eventually did so, because he felt intimidated by the rapper’s “reputation on the street” and because Fat Joe assured him he would receive more compensation later.

“Mr. Elliott had no idea that Fat Joe had told him a series of lies calculated to deceive Plaintiff, designed to relax his vigilance, and lull him in to a false sense of security,” he wrote at the time. “He would never have taken the $5,000 or signed any document had he any inkling he was being double crossed.”

In addition to Fat Joe and Remy Ma – real names Joseph Anthony Cartagena and Reminisce Smith Mackie – the lawsuit also named a slew of other individual defendants, including French Montana (Karim Kharbouch), Infared (Shandel Green) and various entities involved in the song, including Warner/Chappell Music Inc.

Ahead of Wednesday’s ruling, a key issue in the case was locating evidence of the agreement that was purportedly signed in that IHOP. The actual document was lost and could not be found, even after several rounds of subpoenas to Fat Joe’s former manager. Judge Buchwald eventually agreed to accept a draft of the agreement as evidence of what Elliott actually signed.

Under the terms of that draft, the judge wrote Wednesday, Elliott had clearly signed away any rights to the song in exchange for the $5,000.

“By its terms, the agreement unambiguously assigns any ownership rights, copyright rights, and any additional rights that Elliott had in the Composition and the Master,” Judge Buchwald wrote.

In her ruling, the judge also rejected several other arguments from Elliott, like the claim that Fat Joe fraudulently persuaded him to sign the deal by making false promises of further payment. Though the rapper has denied making such promises, Judge Buchwald said it would not have mattered if he had, since the contract expressly stated that the written agreement was the only deal that mattered.

“Try as he might, Elliott cannot avoid the clear and plain language of the contract that ‘no additional compensation … will be due to Elliott,’” the judge wrote. “Any alleged statements regarding future or additional compensation are explicitly contradictory to these specific and unambiguous provisions of the contract.”

Attorneys for both sides — Francis Malofiy of Francis Alexander LLC for Elliott and Eleanor Lackman of Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP for Fat Joe and Remy Ma – did not immediately return requests for comment on Wednesday evening.

Chris Cornell’s Daughter Toni Cornell Delivers Heartfelt Cover of ‘Hallelujah’

At just 17 years old, Toni Cornell is already showing off the musical genes she got from her father, the late Soundgarden/Audioslave singer Chris Cornell.

The teenage artist took to Instagram on Wednesday (Jan. 5) to share a moving, acoustic cover of Leonard Cohen’s classic, “Hallelujah.” While playing her a guitar in front of a twinkling Christmas tree, Toni flawlessly sang the lyrics with control beyond her years.

“Throwback to Xmas Eve,” she captioned the clip along with heart and sparkling emojis. “Hallelujah revisited.”

Love you so much angel,” her mother Vicky Cornell commented. Watch the two-minute cover on Instagram here.

Just last month, Toni paid tribute to her dad on The Tonight Show with a cover of the heart-rending power ballad “Nothing Compares 2 U.” The song, originally written by Prince for his side group The Family, appeared on the posthumous 2020 Cornell covers compilation No One Sings Like You Anymore, Vol. 1.

Cornell, 52, died in May 2017. He was found dead in his Detroit hotel room following a Soundgarden show at the Fox Theatre earlier that night.

Aimer Returns to No. 1 as Holiday Favorites Soar on Japan Hot 100

Aimer’s “Zankyosanka” returns to No. 1 on the Billboard Japan Hot 100 dated Dec. 29, tracking the week from Dec. 20 to 26, 2021. The anime theme song ruled the tally two weeks prior and continues to maintain momentum.

“Zankyosanka” rules streaming for the third week and video views for the second week in a row, both decreasing slightly figure-wise but still going strong. The track racked up 8,904,311 weekly streams (from 9,649,396 the week before) and 2,655,800 views (from 3,183,554) during the chart week, while slipping to No. 2 for downloads after reigning over the metric for two weeks. In other metrics, it comes in at No. 60 for Twitter mentions and No. 29 for radio airplay.

The song that toppled “Zankyosanka” from the top spot for downloads is King Gnu’s “Sakayume.” The ending theme of Jujutsu Kaisen 0 The Movie is currently at No. 12 on the Japan Hot 100 and will likely break into the top 10 next week.

The latest chart tallies the final week of the 2021 Christmas season, and a number of J-pop holiday favorites have climbed back up the Japan Hot 100: back number‘s “Christmas Song” jumps from No. 19 to 7, Mariah Carey‘s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” from No. 37 to 17, Suzuki Suzuki‘s “White Kiss” from No. 31 to 21, and Tatsuro Yamashita‘s 1983 holiday staple “Christmas Eve” soars from No. 46 to 29.

Looking back on the final Christmas chart weeks from the past two years, the highest-ranking holiday song was also back number’s “Christmas Song,” which peaked at No. 12 in 2019 and No. 13 in 2020. The fact that it rose to No. 7 on the Japan Hot 100 this season indicates the steady expansion of the streaming market in Japan, and this trend is expected to continue in the next year and beyond. The popular three-man pop-rock band’s “Christmas Song” from 2015 could become the first J-pop holiday track to top the Japan Hot 100, like the way Carey’s 1994 holiday favorite ruled the U.S. Billboard charts 25 years after its initial release and continues to return annually since.

The Billboard Japan Hot 100 combines physical and digital sales, audio streams, radio airplay, Twitter mentions, YouTube and GYAO! video views, Gracenote look-ups and karaoke data.

See the full Billboard Japan Hot 100 chart, dated Dec. 20 to 26, here.